Chained to You Book 2

By: Alexia Praks



“I’m staying here,” I said loudly to James.

He watched me for a moment, as if he was going to refuse my statement. Then he took out his wallet and handed me his credit card. I stared at it, wondering what it was for.

He chuckled. “I’m not going to starve my girl now, am I?”

I licked my lips. “I’ve got my own money.”

“You’ve got what? Two hundred dollars cash? Hardly enough to get by in Vegas. Take the credit card, Mia. I’m going to be a bit busy in the next few days. If you’re staying here with your brother, you’ll need money for food.”

Andy said, “He’s right.”

I sighed and reluctantly took the credit card. “Thanks,” I said.

He rested his large hand on top of my head and then leaned over to kiss me on my forehead. I sucked in a shaky breath as I closed my eyes. When he moved back, he said, “See you tonight, sweetheart.”

Then he and Matt left. I sighed as I stared at the closed door, my mind on James.

“He likes you,” Andy said, drawing my attention to him.

I turned round and asked, “What?”

He repeated, “He likes you. He calls you sweetheart. When was the last time you heard anyone calling you that?”

I felt my heart skipped a beat. Andy was right. I had not heard that endearment words ‘sweetheart’ said to me since our parents’ death. James was the first since then. Andy had never referred to me as ‘sweetheart’. Even though deep down we loved each other dearly as siblings, me to him was just Mia, and he to me was just Andy. It was just that using any endearment words between us to one another was weird. More so, however, it was painful because the endearment words such as sweetheart, honey, darling, dear, pumpkin etc. reminded us of our beloved, dead parents. And that was very painful.

When James called me darlings or sweetheart, however, I felt a sort of lovely glow within my heart, and it made me happy. Did that meant James liked me as Andy had said. I didn’t know, but the thought that he really liked me made me deliriously happy.

James didn’t love me. He merely liked me. But at least that was enough for me… For now, at least.

Andy beckoned me to sit on the seat where Matt had vacated. I obliged and even moved the chair closer to him.

He said, “You like him, too, don’t you?”

I couldn’t hide it. I had never liked any man before because I’ve never met many of them. We’ve lived quietly, Andy and I. So it was to be expected. Besides that, the few male alive I knew of were bastards, such as my boss and work colleagues at the restaurant. Of course, there was Uncle Herbert as well. He was one hundred times more of a bastard and also happened to be a child molester. So it wasn’t surprising when a guy like James Maxwell came along into my life—a guy who was tall, dark, handsome, and oddly enough kind to me—how could I not like him? How could I not fall for him? Even that first time I had met him on the road when he had nearly drove into me, I had fallen for him. I had liked him. I had wanted him—not in just him doing amazing, crazy sex with me, ravishing the innocent me to his heart’s content and making me cry for more, but really wanted him to be in my life. I wanted him to love me and cherish me for the rest of both our lives, like the way Dad had cherished and loved Mom. But of course, I knew that was impossible. I knew the want and the like and I think the love was only one sided. My side. It was an unrequited love for sure.

The thought that I was one of those girls who fell for a guy who would never return her feelings made my heart ache painfully.

“Mia,” Andy began. “Be careful. James isn’t from our part of the world. It’s dangerous being close to him. You understand?”

I nodded. Of course I understood it was dangerous being close to James. He was a billionaire. His very life was always in danger, wasn’t he? Especially in the type of business he was dealing with—the money, the underground market, and everything that went on there.

Even though I have yet to fully understand my brother’s true relationship with Matt, I couldn’t help but voice my own concern for him as well. “Isn’t Matt the same?” I asked.

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